I am a teen librarian who has worked in the Wake County Library system for six years now. I have been in YALSA for 3 years now and currently serve on the YA Galley Committee. I received my MLS at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2001. My specialties include book clubs, teen advisory boards, programming, and blogging.

Teen Spaces: Mark Them With Your Teens’ Scents

I know that there are many articles, workshops, and blog entries circulating on teen spaces.Most of these revolve around the physical trappings of the area:what furniture did we buy, how did we find the space, what paint colors did we use, etc. Most prominently, they state how they got the money for this project. Who gave it, and how did we talk them into it? Having a teen space is seen as a vital part of serving teens. But where does that leave libraries that, for whatever reason, can’t get the funding?Or what if, no matter how supportive your administration is, they can’t enlarge your teen space any more than it is?

I am of the opinion that even if funding can’t be acquired, we can do simple, cost-effective things to make the teens feel at home in whatever space we have. Here’s a few things my library has done in the past few months. Continue reading

The Teens’ Top Ten: Marketing, Reading, and Voting

Teen Read Week is getting closer every day and with it the vote to decide which of the 26 nominees will be named the Teens’ Top Ten 2008.

The Teens’ Top Ten is a booklist which is a teen choice list. Fifteen groups, known as YA Galley groups, read young adult literature all year long to narrow down the best of the best in teen books. Teens from the groups have to nominate books that will be on the final list. This year 26 titles made the final cut. Out of these 26 titles, teens all over the country get to choose the Teens’ Top Ten.

Why is this project important? Hey, this is teens’ turn to tell the young adult book industry what they are looking for in their books. Continue reading

More Thoughts about Services to the Blind: A Report from the NFB Convention

A man waits patiently for his daughter to finish finding books at the Braille Book Fair

I read with great interest the articles posted here on the YALSA blog by Liz Burns and Joseph Wilk about accessibility to the blind and physically handicapped. I recently had an opportunity of a lifetime. I attended the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) Convention in July: an annual convention that is the largest gathering of the blind and visually impaired people all over the world. This year’s convention was in Dallas, Texas. I was there to assist a blind couple that set up a table in the exhibit hall to promote their organization, the International Christian Braille mission (ICBM). ICBM is an organization that distributes free Christian reading materials in Braille and other accessible formats through the mail to the blind.

It was an amazing experience being around this group of passionate folks. I wasn’t prepared for how committed they would be, how passionate they were, about learning and education. A couple of things I observed proved this. Continue reading

Summer at the Library

What is summer going to be like at your library? There have been several posts and discussions on the ya-yaac listserv recently about how to do “summer reading” for teens this year. Are you encouraging teens to read and log their hours, minutes, books? Are you planning fabulous programs and hoping that as teens attend these events, they will also check out books? Are you just going to focus on programming and not worry about the reading component? What is your plan?

If you are participating in the Collaborative Summer Library Program, the theme this year is Metamorphosis @ Your Library. This is a great theme that reflects how the teen years are years of massive change. Continue reading